There are countless ways to categorize leadership styles. One that is commonly known is micromanagement and macro-management. While both have their pros and cons, there seems to be a consensus that the overbearing effect micromanagement gives off to the receiving end puts more strain on the relationship between the manager and his workers.
While managers are fully aware that their team members are only ever motivated if they remain confident in their abilities to meet their duties and responsibilities, they sometimes act counterintuitively and disregard their important role in constantly motivating their people. Their conscience tells them to leave outcomes to the skills of his staff that qualify them for their designations, but they can’t help but nitpick every detail of a project. Just why do they do this?
There are times when their desire for perfection and control gets the best of them, especially with constrained resources. This innate quality among leaders could be attributed to their superior knowledge of the ins and outs of the business. The tendency to micromanage runs the risk of paralyzing what usually is a well-synchronized work routine because the team is overwhelmed by the thought that their manager couldn’t trust them enough to make their own decisions.
If you’re a manager who’s noticed a shift in your team’s disposition, chances are there is an issue that’s been brewing in the workplace. And, you cannot discount the possibility that you are the problem because leaders are supposed to drive the team forward, after all. Micromanaging is healthy if done in moderation, but if you notice you’re any of the following, you might be doing it a little too much to the detriment of your team’s welfare:
You Make All the Decisions
If for every decision, from the smallest to the biggest, your staff asks for your approval, they might have caught on to your over-critical feedback to their previous work. They feel like they can’t navigate through a problem their way knowing you would have something to say against it. Shying away from the delegation for a lack of confidence in your people, if anything, will leave you overwhelmed for being the sole shot-caller in the bunch.
Are you one of those who call for meetings more than necessary, as in, to the point that your team can’t progress with their tasks because precious time is lost to presenting the status of projects? As you can see, this, along with nitpicking on the small details, hardly gets anything fruitful done. You’d rather give them your valuable inputs from the time a project proposal is pitched and, from then on, have them take the reins.
Timelines are set from the get-go, let them work around them, but also remember that these aren’t cast in stone. Unforeseen issues may arise, which they are responsible for reporting to you. But, for you and everybody’s sake, allow them to work through those as you trained them.
If you’re either of the above mentioned, you may notice your people being less participative during brainstorming sessions. The reason for this is excessive micromanaging and unhealthy levels of criticism have stiffened their thought processes and have taken a toll on their morale and, consequently, their creativity. Only time can tell how much longer they can endure such a counter-nurturing environment until they quit. With this, you might find yourself struggling with retaining precious skills and talent.
Micromanaging could also make you lose sight of the bigger picture, in other words, the strategic decisions that require your focus. Nitpicking everything flattens the organization’s priorities so that less important ones are treated equally as the most important. This putting-out-every-fire attitude causes unnecessary panic and, again, counter-productivity.
How to Stop Over-Micromanaging
Hire the Right People and Trust Them
Hiring the best fit for job posts is common sense, but many neglect the importance of thoroughly screening applicants and, instead, settle for subpar talents. This regretful decision costs time and money. On the other hand, too much promising talent is lost when not given due credit. Remember that you set the hiring parameters and, provided these were followed, you can rest assured let them accomplish their tasks using their skills and creativity.
For every opportunity you could discuss a project with your team, it’s best to set the tone, tell them your expectations, and make sure they understand. Trust in their ability that they can deliver your expected outcomes and be responsible for them. And for monitoring, clearly daily check-ins are too much. It’s important to take into account everyone’s convenient time, if not make use of project management technology for centralized monitoring of interconnected tasks.
It’s important to give people chances to shine so they’re driven to do better. Also, remember that you hired them to unload you of the small stuff so you can focus on the big ones. In the end, striking a balance between micro and macro-management will keep your team on their toes while not being bogged down with low self-esteem.